Skiing Hiatus

Snowshoeing with Thunder in 2013.
Digging a path for Thunder in 2013.

Our first winter in Dillingham, during the 2012-2013 school year, was an Alaskan paradise. We got enormous amounts of snow that winter. There was so much snow that Kyle had to dig a path in our backyard so that our dog Thunder didn’t sink in when he went out to do his business. Even though I was busy with the new job and grad school, we still got out snowshoeing and skiing nearly every weekend that winter.

The next winter (2013-2014), the snowpack was minimal and I snowshoed a few times, but never skied.

The winter after that, (2014-2015) we had a lot of rain and ice. The weather was so dreary that we didn’t want to go outside and we became quite melancholy and cooped up. To remedy this, we got a new dog. Except for the days when we had to take our white puppy out in the mud, our plan worked quite well and we got out walking every day, lifting our spirits immensely.

We had some snow the next winter (2015-2016), but I was pregnant and then taking care of a newborn. We put Will in the pack for some walks, but by the time I was recovered enough for strenuous activity the snow was gone.

This all brings us to Thanksgiving weekend 2016. The month of November had been cold and snowy, much to the delight of winter sports enthusiasts. A friend had asked if I wanted to join her skiing. I said sure and dug my skis out of the shed. When she arrived at my house I put my ski boots on, then went to put my skis on. I stuck my foot on the pins and then pulled the binding down. Then I tried to move. The skis fell off. I tried again, this time really making sure that things were lined up right. Again, the skis fell off. I then tried to make sure there was no snow in between my boot and binding. Still, the skis fell off.  I then tried taking my boots off of my feet and snapping the boots in. Not the right method, the skis fell off again.  I tried various other methods for some time, getting more and more frustrated. After a while we went inside for a minute to take care of something else. When we went back outside I looked at my skis again and realized that I had been pulling the toe binding the wrong direction. I had been trying to pull it over my toe, instead of pushing it forward (I have an older three pin binding system). Absolutely mortified by my incompetence, I finally got my skis on and we departed for our trek.

Apparently, a three-year skiing hiatus eliminated the most basic information from my brain.  Thankfully, skiing doesn’t require an abundance of knowledge or special skills. Once I got my skis on I was good to go. And oh, how good it has been-I’ve gone out for a number of beautiful skis in the past month and can’t wait to continue throughout the winter.

Skiing in 2016.
Out on the tundra with Yukon – 2016.
Erika Written by:


  1. Mom
    January 5, 2017

    Wonderful story. Love hearing about the Alaskan adventures!

  2. January 5, 2017

    I think we laughed enough that day in November to eliminate any mortification!

  3. Bill
    January 5, 2017

    It must be like riding a bike?

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